An undignified end: Richard III was buried in 'hastily dug and untidy grave'

 

Researchers have revealed the remains of King Richard III, which were discovered under a city car park, were found in a hastily dug, untidy grave.

It is believed that gravediggers may have been in a hurry to bury the murdered king and that his hands could have been bound together. The lozenge-shaped grave was too short to contain the body conventionally and the bones of the last Plantagenet king were placed in an odd position, with the torso crammed in.

Academics from the University of Leicester added that someone is likely to have stood in the grave to receive the body, suggested by the fact the body is positioned to one side rather than placed centrally.

The discovery followed a three-week dig  which started in August at what was once the medieval Grey Friars church in Leicester - now a Leicester City Council car park. Archaeologists announced in February this year that they had discovered the monarch's remains.

Findings by the University of Leicester Archaeological Services are revealed in the journal ‘Antiquity’ as part of the first peer-reviewed paper on the search for Richard III.

The paper outlines key findings from the archaeological investigation of the Grey Friars site. It includes analysis of Richard III's grave and explains the conclusions about the friary's layout based on the remains of the church and cloisters. It also includes initial observations of the condition of the king's skeleton.

Academics said that there were no signs of a shroud or coffin in Richard III's grave, in heavy contrast to other medieval graves discovered in the area which were the correct length and neatly dug with vertical sides.

This is in keeping with accounts from the medieval historian Polydore Vergil, who said Richard III was buried "without any pomp or solemn funeral".

The paper is being made publicly available at antiquity.ac.uk/ant/087/ant0870519.h

Additional reporting by PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test